June 7, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ardashes Kassakhian
tel: (818) 500-1918

ANCA-WR CONTINUES TO PUSH FOR ESTABLISMENT OF TRADE OFFICE AFTER BILL PASSES FULL SENATE VOTE

SACRAMENTO, CA — The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) applauded the passage of legislation by Senator Jack Scott (D-Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena) that would establish a regional trade office in Armenia. The State Senate approved the bill by a bipartisan 27-to-6 vote last week, May 29, 2002.

” This is an important step in establishing stronger economic ties between the Republic of Armenia and the State of California, and we’re confident that the State Assembly, once they take a close look at this measure, will do the right thing and pass this legislation as well” said Vicken Sonentz Papazian, ANCA-WR Board member. Senate Bill 1657 would have the trade office serve Armenia and surrounding Eastern European and Southwestern Asian independent neighbors. The aim of the proposal is for California to promote trade relations in developing areas of the world that show emerging market potential. A study of the trade office’s economic impact on trade, investment and tourism would be completed by March, 2005.

Armenia, which in 1991 gained its independence from the Soviet Union, was the first former Soviet Republic to privatize agriculture and continues to private small businesses and state-run enterprise. Armenia has made significant advancements in computer technology and telecommunication, which can open new markets for California’s high-tech and biotech industries. “The establishment of a California-Armenia Trade Office is a mutually beneficial step towards strengthening the economies of both parties through cooperation in a number of areas such as tourism, hi-tech and information, and agriculture. The ANCA is committed to seeing this process through to its fruition and will continue to work with our State Legislature to ensure this initiative’s passage,” added Ardashes Kassakhian, Director of Government Relations for the ANCA-WR.

The State of California currently has trade offices in Germany, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, the Republic of South Africa, Taiwan and Japan. Senator Scott’s measure calls for the addition of a tenth trade office to be located in Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia.

The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots political organization. The ANCA actively advances a broad range of issues of concern to the Armenian-American community.

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